Cardboard moving boxes or plastic containers?

Cardboard moving boxes or plastic containers?

If packed properly, cardboard moving boxes can be put to good use during the household relocation

Aside from traditional cardboard moving boxes, plastic moving containers have become increasingly popular lately. Everyone who has moved house at least once in a lifetime knows how important it is to get quality moving supplies.

When preparing for a big household move people are trying to find the safest way to transport their earthly possessions to a new residence. Most people get the real impression of their belongings only when they are facing an arduous task of packing for a move. As a matter of fact, a household move is always a good opportunity to find things you haven’t used or seen for ages because you buried them deep inside the closet or in a storage area.

The truth is that there are a lot of unwanted and unnecessary items that should be left behind so as to avoid cluttering up your new space at the very beginning. Moving to a new place is an opportunity for a fresh start, therefore moving every single thing from your previous home would be just pointless and absurd. Reducing your possessions to the least possible especially makes sense if you are downsizing to a smaller apartment.

Thinking outside the box when getting moving boxes

Whether moving locally or to another state/country, getting proper packing and moving supplies is one of the most important aspects of the household move. It’s in your best interest to keep your belongings well protected all along and only appropriate packing supplies will help you accomplish that mission. If you are wondering whether to rent/purchase cardboard boxes or plastic moving containers we would like to share some facts about each option. Here are some considerations for using cardboard and plastic containers.

As we all know, packing and transporting household belongings may be challenging both for you and your wallet, so finding proper moving boxes should be one of the priority tasks when you are planning a move. When sorting through your items and preparing for the move, decluttering is the way to go if you want to save on the packing material.

When it comes to choosing the most suitable moving boxes, consider the following 2 aspects:

  • moving distance
  • type and size of the items that need to be packed

Pros and cons of using plastic moving containers

plastic moving containers
Plastic moving boxes may come in handy as storage containers


Plastic moving bins can be reused and re-purposed after the move for storing and keeping your items safe for years to come. Plastic boxes can come in handy when it comes to managing off-season clothes, linens, books, IT equipment,… The containers are environmentally friendly and can be used over and over again. On the other hand, cardboard boxes can be used just a few times.


Reputable moving companies usually offer plastic moving containers among other services. If you choose to rent them, your movers will deliver the containers. Also, they will pick them up at your new location once the move is over. As a result, there will be no additional waste and you will perform a more eco-friendly move.


There is no need for box hunting weeks before the moving day. You just have to call or visit the moving company and explain the situation. They will help you determine the exact number of the boxes needed to get the move done successfully. In order to get a clear idea of whether you can afford this service or not, request several moving quotes from different moving companies.

Picking up

Movers deliver fully assembled containers to your old home. You don’t have to waste your time and effort putting them together and reinforcing them before the move. When the movie is over, you don’t have to think about ways of getting rid of the boxes. After you finish unpacking, a box rental company or moving company will come by and pick up the boxes.

No need for additional supplies

Plastic containers can be secured only with zip-ties, so there’s no need to buy additional packing supplies.

Bad weather

If you are moving in bad weather, you can rest assured that your plastic boxes won’t get damaged by water. That makes them ideal for storing electronics, documents, photos, keepsakes,…


Rented plastic moving containers are durable and sturdy and equipped with hand grips which make them perfect for moving.

Easy packing

Moving containers fit perfectly together, so it will be much easier for you or your movers to pack them into the moving truck.


yellow, pink and green marker
Create an efficient labeling system for easier unpacking

Labeling plastic containers is pretty simple by using erasable markers. Boxes can be marked as well, but are an easier way to do so.

Other supplies

Along with plastic bins, reputable moving companies offer free dolly, stickers, twist ties, and other convenient supplies that will make the packing process easier.

Easy to stack

Once you unpack plastic bins, you can stack them and leave in the garage until movers or box rental company representatives come to pick them up.

Large items

Plastic bins are not meant to be used for packing large and heavy items and you need to make sure not to overpack them in order to keep them safe and protected throughout the move.

Cardboard moving boxes – yes or no?

Cardboard moving boxes are able to withstand different types of items
Cardboard moving boxes are available in many different sizes

If you decide to go for cardboard moving boxes, there are a lot of places where you can get cardboard moving boxes for free or for a fee. You can get some from restaurants or nearby grocery or liquor store−in most cases they have plenty. Moving companies are also usually able to sell boxes, or you can visit book stores and check if they have some available. Online shops are numerous and a lot of them allow people to post their boxes for giving away.

However, beware of the cheap, poor-quality cardboard boxes which can let you down easily on a moving day. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moving boxes for sale on the internet described as new or in good condition, but when you buy them, you actually realize that it is not the case.

Benefits of using cardboard moving boxes

Less space

Cardboard boxes take up less space in the moving truck, which is especially important if the moving company is charging you based on how much space your items occupy in the moving vehicle.

Possible to get them for free

Cardboard boxes are available for free at the nearest retail shop. If you decide to purchase the new ones, that won’t burden your budget, since they are fairly inexpensive.

Many sizes available

You can find cardboard moving boxes in a variety of sizes. When packing for a household move, you need to make sure you are able to lift and safely carry the boxes. While small moving boxes are great for packing heavy items like books CDs, tools, dishes, light objects like bedding, linens, and blankets should be packed in large boxes. A suitable moving box must be able to withstand many other boxes stacked on top of the box without damaging the items inside.


Once the move is over, there will be a lot of empty cardboard boxes making a huge amount of waste. The good news is that some of them are recyclable, but since most of them are usually damaged or stained, recycling is not an option.

Easy to dispose

Cardboard boxes are recyclable, so you can get rid of them effortlessly once the relocation is over. There are many ways to dispose of used cardboard moving boxes, but recycling them gives you the opportunity to take care of the environment and perform an eco-friendly move. Contact your local recycling center where you can dispose of the moving leftovers and find out if there are some special requirements that you need to meet.


A great thing about cardboard boxes is that you can use them over and over again for different things. For example, re-purpose sturdy moving boxes after the move by using them as storage containers.

Taking less space

If moving boxes are still in good condition and can withstand another move consider reusing them. However, avoid packing up your new home with used cardboard boxes and other packing supplies. Used cardboard boxes may take up a lot of space in your new home. Have in mind that saving them for the next move wouldn’t be a smart idea.

Can be given away

Let other people know that you are giving away used cardboard moving boxes in good shape. If your neighbors or friends are moving house any time soon, cardboard boxes in good condition may come in handy.

Can be used for fun projects

Plastic bins, specialty boxes and cardboard moving boxes are available at the nearest moving company
Other than professional packing services, movers provide suitable packing supplies – plastic bins, specialty boxes and cardboard moving boxes

If you have spare time, use clean cardboard boxes to engage in creative and entertaining projects with your kids, and have some fun.

If you are living in a big city, chances are that there are a lot of box rental and moving companies. Call as many of them as you can, compare the prices, terms and conditions, and availability. Furthermore, bear in mind that long-distance moves can be problematic in terms of renting plastic bins, so you may be forced to use cardboard boxes instead. Sometimes it’s easier for you to go for traditional cardboard moving boxes in order to complete the move in a safe and efficient manner. Also, professional movers are able to provide a variety of specialty moving boxes. That includes wardrobe boxes designed for storing and moving hanging clothes.

Planning a move?

Experience the peace of mind that comes from working with a trusted, affordable moving service. Our team of dedicated movers is committed to providing excellent customer service and making sure your items arrive in the same condition they were in before the move. We work hard to ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible and that your possessions are handled with the utmost care. With our competitive prices and commitment to customer satisfaction, you can be sure that your move will be an enjoyable and successful experience.

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